The canal that runs parallel to shore in the shelter of Isla Angel de la Guarda teems with marine life, especially of the larger variety: Bryde’s, minke, blue, sperm, humpback, and pilot whales, finbacks, orcas, and the occasional gray whale as well as common and bottlenose dolphins, all pass through at various times throughout the year.
The best season for spotting these pelagics is July–October, when the water is warmest (26–32°C). Visit in August for the best chance to swim with a juvenile whale shark.
California sea lions live along island shores, and northern elephant seals are sometimes seen in the spring.
Until populations dwindled in the 1960s and 1970s, Bahía de los Angeles was a busy center for turtle fishing; today it has evolved into a more sustainable center for turtle conservation because of its strategic role as a nesting ground.
At the north end of the bay, marine biologist Antonio Resendiz has run a sea turtle research station since 1979, called the Centro Regional de Investigacion Pesquera (CRIP) Sea Turtle Research Station (no tel., 9 A.M.–2 P.M. Mon.–Tues. and Thurs.–Fri., 9 A.M.–1 P.M. Sat., US$2).
Visitors are welcome to stop by to see the loggerheads and greens that are contained in their tank for tagging and observation or to hear an occasional lecture on turtle behavior and conservation efforts.
Antonio’s work received worldwide recognition in 1995 when a 97-kilogram loggerhead named Rosita, who had been released from the Pacific coast of Baja in 1994, was picked up by a fisherman in Japan. Antonio also owns the adjacent Campo Archelón.